The Spirit XT385 is a very solid feeling fold up treadmill meant for running and multiple users. It has a very nice folding mechanism that also allows the unit to be moved around when folded on four wheels instead of two. It may not seem like a big deal, but only a handful of company’s do it and when its time to move the treadmill out of the way it makes life a lot easier.
The shock absorption system on the 385 is six rubber durometers spread out evenly underneath the deck. This is pretty much the standard system for most mid level treadmills and to Spirits credit they do pair it with a 1 inch deck. Spirit also takes the additional step of putting a life time warranty on the deck along with the motor and frame in order to offer the customer some piece of mind on their unit.
The unit also has quick keys spread across the bottom of the console in order to make it easier for users to change speeds and inclines. I do like this feature but the spirit version does take some getting used to. He user must press a speed or incline button first and then 2 additional number in order to make it switch. This creates 3 button strikes whereas most units with this feature would just have you press a number once. Not a deal breaker but definitely something I would try out while trying out the unit.
The units warranty is top notch for a mid level unit, lifetime motor/frame/deck with 10 years on parts and electronics and 1 year labor is pretty good. I will always take the five years of additional parts over the second year of labor.
The unit is relatively quiet and the beeps of the console can be turned off in order to not wake up the house but the ipod speakers will wake them up anyways if you decide to use them. The headphone jack actually works with anything with a headphone output so if you still have your Walkman laying around you can play some tapes.
Speakers for MP3 players
The speakers sound ok and the jack works with any music player with a headphone output so it does replace a sound system in the room. The volume is controlled by your unit and headphones are not an option once plugged in. I consider this feature as something nice to have, but I don’t base buying decisions on it.
The unit has a fan just below the reading rack and it is able to be directed up and down. I will say that it will not overwhelm you with air but does help keep you cool in a poor circulation zone.
Heart Rate Control
The nit has 2 Heart Rate control programs that will control the incline of the unit but not the speed. The are nice to have and the programs will ask you all the required questions so you do not need a personal training certification to get it right. 1 Polar strap is included.
The unit is equipped with a piston so when you unfold the unit and fold it the weight is mostly carried by the piston. It also allows for users to just let the deck drop to the floor without any concern for children or animals. I really like this if you have small children in the home who are curious about what you do.
Remote Speed/Incline Controls
The XT385 has a set of buttons on the right and left hand rails which allow the user to change speeds and inclines with their thumbs while holding on. This is really nice for users who do not want to let go but not really useful for runner. Another item I would point out to try before you buy but not a deal breaker either way because you can turn them on and off.
The Spirit 385 is a solid unit in a very competitive price range. I do like the unit a lot and with its warranty I consider it a low risk running unit with the ability to fold and roll away. The screen and many features can be a little overwhelming but the value is there and so is the longevity in its class. Spirit has been around a long time and are also easy to work with. Definitely worth putting on the run list if this is the price range you find your self in.